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Royalty Fishery Report - July 2011

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July on the Royalty saw the river at the lowest level I have seen since the heatwave back in 1976 with the river running low and clear. Hardly surprisingly this made the fishing somewhat tough although some superb barbel were landed despite the conditions. Finding a swim with barbel in it was the easy part as they were visible all over the fishery drifting over the gravel between the beds of ranunculus weed. Seeing them was one thing, getting them to take your bait was another. Whilst they were willing to sporadically feed over loose feed such as hemp and pellet, they frustratingly ignored the hookbait sitting enticingly amid the free offerings. Most anglers adopted the small bait approach to match the conditions and this sometimes paid off although I know of at least one angler that took a completely different approach using a huge paste wrapped hookbait to some success. As i've said before, the barbel just don't read the same books as we do! Despite the conditions some cracking barbel were still landed with the best weighing 14lb 5oz which was lande by Steve Ballard from the Parlour on luncheon meat. Another angler who did well in the Parlour was Dave Wilson from Sutton who landed a new PB of 13lb 10oz.

Paul Squires of Winchester fished the Cattle Drink and used pellet to take two barbel, the largest of which was a new PB at 13lb 5oz. Another angler reporting a new PB was Mel Evans, proprietor of the Royalty View Guest House in Christchurch, who caught a 12lb 8oz barbel from the Ralway on pellet. Nice one Mel! Pete Wilson is a regular face on the Royalty and towards the end of July he enjoyed a session in the Parlour landing barbel of 9lb 14oz and 11lb 8oz.

Two anglers who come down for a fishing break in July each year are Martin and Paul Kirkpatrick from Reading and, as usual they caught plenty of barbel with Martin landing the largest at 13lb 2oz, four ounces heavier than Paul's best of the week which went 12lb 10oz and also came from the Parlour. From the pictures they sent in they also seemed to catch from all around the middle of the fishery. Considering the tough conditions they did realy well.

Another angler who had some cracking fish was Nick Vaughan who landed barbel to 13lb 10oz, the biggest fish coming from Fiddlers.

Nick Vaughan with a superb looking 13lb 10oz beauty from Foxes NIck-Vaughan

Mark Nicholls had a lovely brace of barbel weighing 11lb 10oz and 12lb 9oz.

A 12lb 9oz barbel landed by Mark Nicholls Mark Nicholls with an 11lb 10oz barbel

Russell May also got amongst the doubles with a 10lb 4oz barbel taken at last knockings.

 Russell May with a 10lb 4oz barbel taken at last knockings

Kevin Burgess from Trowbridge had a brace of barbel from the Pipes weighing 10lb 3oz and 7lb 2oz on boilie, the former being his first double and a new PB. Kevin summed up his feelings on his catch return in one word, "Briliant"! Mark Johnstone came from Yeovil and chose to fish Watersmeet where he landed barbel of 10lb 3oz, 6lb 4oz and 7lb 8oz all of which fell to pellet fished in conjunction with a pva bag. Davis Browning from Romsey fished pellet in the Ralway and had a great days sport landing a 12lb 12oz barbel and chub of 5lb 12oz and 6lb 2oz. David commented on his catch return that he had "Never seen so many salmon; brilliant days fishing. Where do you go to find this?"

Robert Stevens from Surrey fished the 'top of Johnsons' and had a nice mixedbag including barbel of 8lb 2oz, 9lb 4oz and 5lb 12oz along with bream to 7lb 2oz. Fishing alongside him was his son Colin who reporte chub of 4lb 2oz and 2lb 12oz along with a bream of 6lb 5oz using a method feeder along with meat and corn. Ruefuly Colin said that he'd had a great day's fishing with his Dad who once again caught all the fish! David Tailor from Weston Super Mare fished Foxes lo land a brace of barbel including a new PB of 11lb 6oz. His successful bait was pellet. Janis Mansbridge fished the Car Park and tempted a barbel of 10lb 4oz and a 5lb 4oz bream both of which fell to halibut pellet. Another angler who had some success in this area was Andrew Corbet of Edinburgh who, with the assistance of the bailiff, netted a 7lb barbel from the High Wall of the Car Park. The successful bait was static meat. Philip Watson fished a method feeder and boilie combination to tempt a 9lb 10oz barbel and a 5lb 12oz chub from Greenbanks.Another angler who had a nice chub and barbel 'combo' was Harvey Slade from Bournemouth who fished Fiddlers using pellet and managed to land barbel of 9lb and 6lb along with chub of 3lb & 4lb. Our old friends Lord Jez Brown and Danny were once again gracing the banks of the Royalty and despite the conditions both managed to catch with Jez taking the larger of the two with a scraper double of 10lb 10oz.

Danny with a hard earned 7lb 14oz barbel Lord Brown with a 10lb 1oz barbel



For the next report it seems somehow appropriate to just cut and paste the email I received form the anglers concerned. "The sun shone on the BBBB’s (Berks and Bucks Barbel Boys) outing to the Top Weir Compound at the Royalty on the Avon at Christchurch last Monday and Tuesday 11 and 12 July. All three members caught over the two days, and please….. no amount of bribes, money, women or dodgy offers of any other kind can get you in to this highly prized and totally exclusive club so please don’t even go there!!.  Best fish and winner of the top prize of a twenty pound note went to David with a fine 10 pound 6 ounce Barbus barbus; his first double caught on a free lined weighted hook carrying a 20mm “Liver B8” boilie from Shaun Harrison at Quest, an immeasurable amount of gratitude and thanks go to Trefor West for his invaluable personal advice on this method. In fact after trying various baits it was the Liver B8 that caught all of the 5 Barbel which varied from 7lbs to over 10 and a single Bream of around 6 lbs.Dave has the “big en”  Keith is in front of the weir and Mike is donning the hat! According to the bailiffs and Davis fishing tackle we were just about the only ones catching so again and big thank you to Trefor and Shaun."

"Large Dave" with a nice barbel from the Great Weir "large Keith" with a Grest Weir barbel "Large Mike" with a small barbel"

I'm not too sure what to make of one return received on 10th. July where I'm certain the name put down on on the Catch Return wasn't what the angler was christened! Anyhow he came from Yeovil and fished a feeder into the mouth of the Little Weir and landed an 8lb 8oz barbel, chub of 5lb 2oz & 3lb dead along with bream of 8lb 3oz, 4lb 12oz and 4lb 2oz. Another angler who never gets called by the name he was christened with is Jeff Edisbury of Bright*n but he didn't let this stop him landing a few barbel on his trip down with the best going 12lb 3oz. He also continues to manage to catch the Royalty babies with some degree of frequency but the less said about that the better. 

Jeff-Edisbury-12-3 Jeff-Edisbury-baby

 As can seen by many of the catches above, the bream seemed far more willing to feed despite the conditions and a number of anglers had good bags of these river slabs. Thomas Willard from Winchester had bream of 8lb 8oz, 7lb 6oz, 6lb 4oz, and 6lb exactly along with seven more bream to 4lbs. Thomas also mentioned losing a 25lb plus carp during his session down by the Road Bridge. Likewise the number of 5lb chub now resident on the Royalty is higher than it has been for many years and plenty have been taken by anglers fishing for barbel. One angler who targetted the chub specifically was Dorchester angler Paul Lewis who landed twelve chub with the best going 5lb 14oz and 5lb 10oz. Unfortunately I have no details on swim or bait as these weren't included on the catch return.

Nice perch continue to be taken from around the fishery with the Piles and the Little Weir throwing up several fish over three pounds. Small dace and bleak livebaits have proved to be the most effective method. Out of interest there have been numbers of 3lb plus perch taken from the Bridge Pool by anglers fishing for sea trout.


Overall then July was tough but still plenty of good fish were landed.




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